States Agents raid Shoprite and Spar to Confiscate illegally imported products

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Zambia Bureau of Standards Agent Inspecting imported Products
Zambia Bureau of Standards Agent Inspecting imported Products

A TEAM of government agencies and security wings yesterday swung into action and confiscated various products imported without permits from selected chain store supermarkets and shops in Lusaka.

The operation was executed by officers from the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health, Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS), Lusaka City Council (LCC), Zambia Police Service and Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC).

The products, which include edible oils, rice, milk, mayonnaise, spices, butter, jungle oats and canned beans, were seized from notable chain stores like Shoprite Manda Hill branch and Spar Arcades.

Others are Feigenbaum Limited in Makeni and some shops in Kamwala trading area and Lumumba Road.

Speaking to journalists shortly after the operation, Ministry of Agriculture chief agricultural economist Anayawa Mutemwa said the exercise was prompted following concerns from local manufacturers that imported products had flooded the market.

Mr Mutemwa said the operation has revealed that most of the products sold in supermarkets and other shops do not have import permits.

“We have more imports than exports and these are some of the reasons our currency, the kwacha, is depreciating,’’ he said.

Mr Mutemwa said all traders found wanting will face the law.

He said it will now be up to the courts of law to decide the fate of such traders.

Mr Mutemwa said offenders can either be fined or sentenced to a jail term of six months with hard labour.

Edible Oil Association of Zambia committee member Aubrey Chibumba said the importation of such products is impeding the over US$150 million that has been invested in the local manufacturing and processing of edible oils .

“These traders have continued defying the directive by Minister of Agriculture Given Lubinda that only those with import permits should be allowed to bring in edible oils,’’ Dr Chibumba said.

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39 COMMENTS

  1. When the Kwacha was 4.00 to Us$, those items were on those shop shelves. Whilst illegal importation of goods should not go unpunished, the move at this point in time smacks of a leadership that has run out of economic ideas.

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    • well said @Bane. edible items from a few shops is not the reason for our enormous currency depreciation.

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    • Better late than never.South Africa does not tolerate illegally imported goods so why should we.Extend this operation countrywide and donate the seized goods to the poor.Border controls should be revamped,someone is sleeping on the job.We are indirectly making south african manufacturers richer and Zambian manufacturers or producers poorer

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    • This is long overdue from this useless government. Shoprite victimises small Zambian suppliers, using their purchasing manager, JC, who is a little Boer who should be counting sheep on a farm in RSA instead. The Zambian GM, Charles Bota, is just a figurehead who is aloof and blind to what’s happening in front of him.

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  2. It’s frustration at its best,You have a leader who has no idea about the economics and workings of the country,Mwanawasa was a lawyer with great ministers,Sata had saved long enough to know better,as for Lungu its something else,lets unity and vote this person out,Zambians had hope at some point for a better Zambia,few months his been there he has managed to take that away,what kind of a leader is this?,Vote for UPND and its leadership,before Zambia crumbles again into among the poorest nations in the world,i love you Mother Zambia and God bless

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  3. is the problem with the retailer shops or the border security? how did they easily pass trough chirundu, siavonga or vic falls borders? very soon we will be told no more coca cola and welcome back tip top, quench and tarino just to save the face of the kwacha. Just face it, kwacha yagwa!

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    • PF PF I repeat. Stop fixing things using corrupt thinking. Why do I say so. Quite alright the items my be illegal but the timing to confiscate them is not right. The local famers are not able to satisfy the market at present. We know that Lubinda and his colleagues have established poultry farms but they cant satisfy the zambian market .Yesterday mwanakatwe said Zambian honey will now be easily sold in south Africa. This hypocrisy you don’t allow foreign foods and you want to sale yours to South Africa. Right now shoprite is struggling to keep foods from rotting due to Load shedding and when it closes who will suffer more. Lets balance our trade and lets also take account of our present state of our economy.

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  4. For government that depend on donor support like Zambia should be thinking constructively on how they spend,how do you create ministries when other countries are reducing,where does the money come from to fund those ministries,we’re a country that is still developing hence the need to use the little that we have sparing,its sad, its not the case with the current leadership

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  5. Oops!!! All eyes on Zambia and may be this time around for a wrong reason. HOW do such big companies evade ZRA at the border??? The government has so many battles lined up to fight, I thought it was just the mines now even shops!!!! We are in trouble

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  6. We are back to unip days,such draconian measures dont work,use zra at the borders dont raid shoprite it creates a aad impression,those must be old stocks.:

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  7. This is what boggles the mind. We want to enforce laws only when we are in a crisis. Now soon we will be swiping disposable nappies off babies’ bottoms because they are not supposed to be in the country! Strewth!!!

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  8. And ZRA where not involved? How did the goods come in in the first place? Smuggled? or ‘allowed’ in somehow?

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  9. Fellow Zambians, now that Sata is gone, he has worn our praises and yet he is the same Sata we were busy calling names. When ECL is gone, same praises will be song unto him. In as much as things are bad, we need to understand the economic fundamentals that have to e large extent caused these shocks in our currency. The commodities markets that Zambia depends on have collapsed.. How do you expect the kwacha to be resilient when there is no demand for our commodities are the international level?

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  10. This is a good move by these agencies. There are a lot of expired, hazardous and sub standard goods on our shelves today. Some products have artificial extended expiry dates. In one country in Africa, they discovered that the panadol they were ordering did not even have any medicinal value. Some company was just moulding some white stuff and shipping it out, pretending it was panadol. Again in Zambia, a few years ago some product that was selling for 5 ngwee in Japan was selling for 500 kwacha in Zambia. These operations must not be a once off event if peoples lives are to be safeguarded.

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  11. WELL DONE! KEEP THIS SPIRIT AND PROTECT THE LOCAL INDUSTRIES -BUT DO NOT DO IT JUST BECAUSE THE KWACHA IS IN A COMA – DO IT ALL THE TIME. WE NEED SEVERE PENALTIES TO THE PEPERTRATORS

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  12. Though commendable action by the govt, it is already late as damage has been done to local economy. The surprise expressed by the raiding officials at the amount of contraband goods speaks volumes of the careless way we running the country.

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  13. I still stand by my point of saying why dont all of you guys offer solutions than condemning.If it were you in this currently situation what would you do or have done better

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    • @Mumba, it is difficult to offer solutions to authority that does not enforce their laws until it is too late. Look here, if their laws were enforced we would not have “illegal” products in “legal” outlets. The question is why now? So solution is ENFORCE the law FIRST. After that we will be able to see clearly whether or not there is another problem to tackle.

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  14. The problem is at the borders. How do the goods get in without import permits? This is a big battle at hand.

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  15. Speaks volume about ZRA which is rotten to the core with corruption. ZRA from the top to the bottom is stinking with corrupt cartels within and without. Commissioners, Supervisors, mere officials all conniving to make quit bucks for themselves at the expense of the nation and the health of its people. This is just a microcosm of what has become of our country and a receipt for disaster. You can literary bring anything in Zambia, including contraband, as long as you are prepared to oil the hands of some official. No patriotism and no regard for the welfare of the nation. Very depressing to be a Zambian at present.

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  16. TYPICAL BEHAVIOR OF HEADLESS CHICKENS. WHY POUNCE ON INNOCENT VICTIMS? WHY DO YOU IGNORE THE REAL CAUSES OF KWACHA PLUMMETING? LOOK AT THE POOR AND IRRESPONSIBLE GOVERNANCE BY LUNGU WHERE NO OFFICER IS SUPERVISED, GIVEN TARGETS TO MEET WITHIN A STIPULATED SHORT PERIOD OF TIME AND MADE TO ACCOUNT. LUNGU IS JUST SLEEPING ON DUTY AND IS BUSY MERRY-MAKING. LUNGU AND HIS MINIONS HAVE INDISCRIMINATELY LOOTED OUR RESOURCES. THEY ARE THIEVES. THEY ARE BANDITS. THEY ARE CRIMINALS WHO SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO RULE AND DESTROY OUR COUNTRY BEYOND 3 MONTHS FROM NOW. LUNGU SHOULD GO! EVEN IF IT MEANS HIM GOING BACK TO HIS ROUTES IN MALAWI, LET HIM GO! USELESS AND VALUELESS PEOPLE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO GO!

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    • That is the main problem we have , no accountability. Even if the boarder through which illegal goods pass is identified with the officers responsible, nothing will get done about it, because the whole GRZ is corrupt from top to bottom. And bringing those officers to account would invite revelations of bigger corruption.

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  17. This is complete nonsense and just a publicity stunt. Obviously it has not been properly thought through. Failed UNIP thinking by M0R0Ns with no clue.

    Some of us have seen this before. IT DOES NOT WORK!

    The result of this before was firstly shortages, then local manufacturers put up their prices astronomicaly, and the quality was terrible, until they were so inefficient that there was nothing available at all, at any price!

    That is what happens when there is no competition. Do Zambians really want to go back to those days of queuing for a whole day for 2L cooking oil that THAT STINKS?

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  18. in free WTO competitive products will always find a market and inferior ones will not You save a lost of costs by being competive in quality and branding to even compete in the opposite markets

    Of course permits and quotas are needed but taxes may be effective deterent, but those dead weight losses must be managed without creating a parallel boarder route especially with local demand and supply

    Innovation business start up and support branding and market support creating an impression in the local and international markets will help effectively and avoid reverse policy

    If a person has imported and has a clearance certificate by ZRA it follows that on the list…

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  19. It all starts with understanding your industries in the Global and regional Sense Identifying subsidiaries of those external suppliers and their value chains
    Secondly understand the market share of those companies and the locally branded companies in products portfolios and see per capital If you map those products you will be more effective to spend energies to ensure the locally are supported as they first compete locally for that Population in consumption volumes with external Without understanding your industries demographics and markets to innovate long-term you will achieve too little There is a process from the Desire to Industrialise and diversify to…

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  20. this is a case were one ministry undermines the other…these products come thru borders. .airports…what are custom officers there for ..?

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  21. Why can we not just lease Zambia for a period of 20 yrs to either the British or the Americans with such conditions like: (1) they clear all national debt-both local and foreign; (2) they rebuild the infrastructure (3) they train Zambians how to govern ourselves (4) they develop all parts of the country (5) they give us a people driven constitution (6) they introduce a policy where every Zambian will have equal access to both shelter & education. If u think I am mad or bluffing, think of this: which is more complicated:-being coach of Zambia national team or being president of Zambia? Constructing roads or being president of Zambia? Your answer to both questions will direct yo thinking into whether we need expat president & cabinet.

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  22. Addressing the effect will not solve the problem, you need to address the cause. Off course illegal imports should not be condoned but in my view these people should be asking and addressing the question “how did those products end up on the selves?” We have inspectors at the borders, did they not check for import permits? Why allow goods into the country for which there is no proper documentation? This is what should be addressed.

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  23. shoprite i feel sorry for you , been a good investor ,creats good number of jobs , but been punished as example of the cause of weak Kwacha . please dont do that to these importers who brings food and commodities ,they are our hope in the future ,who else do we expect to import ?

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  24. for the purpose of exhibition one can not but indulge in exorcism befit of circumvention be it male or female, as a fan turns even lopsided misgivings show a different graders reducing constipation but circumventing consumption.
    In Zambia no one can release the efegy beyond recongising the need for full turn around in all worldly condomunins with or without supporting synergies which are back propelled through positive and negative flyovers with in.

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  25. stop the importation of alcohol too.this will not only save a lot of money but a lot of problems associated with taking alcohol. Zambia needs to sober up in this challenging times

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    • sober up ? that means we will have less ponofication, less adultery less arousal cheating ? you can not be serious. what else will we be doing ?

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  26. Good move but when was the restriction made? These shops buy in big volumes and when the restriction was made some had just been purchased. So we should have given them at least 3 months for them to finish selling what they had ordered. But for future we need to restrict so many items and no chickens from South Africa, no second hand under wears, no second hand cars and no human hair from anywhere

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  27. Am average Zambian is not patriotic. If all departments connected the dots, Zambia could be ok. We spend time fighting each other while foreigners are busy consolidating their businesses. What a people. Fire fighting all the way. Those breaking the law find it cheaper to bribe a few leaders and exploit the masses, why? Lack of patriotism – the hope of making our place better for everyone.

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  28. Zambia…be ready to pay sky rocketing price for local sub standard cooking oil and the era where everything was kudibe….finished

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  29. I remember buying 20 liter oil for my house last week. Prices were as follows.

    Ole- 360 kwacha
    Imported – 270 kwacha!!!

    How such huge difference in prices.
    Local manufacturers wants to rip us off!!! That’s loot.

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Comments are closed.